Is it the spectre of losing yet another popular vote or infighting in the state unit of the congress party which is preventing leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad from contesting the state Assembly polls due in November 2014.
Azad was left red faced after he was handed over crushing defeat by the BJP candidate Dr Jitendra Singh from Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat.
After remaining in hibernation as political activity is peaking here in the state Azad has once again taken command of the party campaign in his hands and playing active role in the election process from shortlisting the names of party candidates to deciding the agenda of the poll campaign.
But no one in the party is aware why Azad is shying away from contesting the Assembly polls.
In the midst of political activity on Saturday when Azad accompanied by Prof Saif Ud Din Soz made this startling revelation in Udhampur he took every one by surprise.
At the same time Azad’s move has raised suspicion among the party cadre about the scope of congress party candidates in the coming polls.
In a multi corner contest on almost all the seats especially in Jammu region the chances of congress candidates looked bleak barring few odd seats where party ministers have retained their hold in their constituencies and are capable of facing the onslaught of pro-Modi wave in their own backyards.
On majority of seats which congress party had lost earlier its leadership is facing serious crisis of finding the right candidate who can turn the tables and romp home victoriously.
In the coming days as the election related political activity will gain momentum and party workers would put pressure on the senior party leaders to lead the campaign Ghulam Nabi Azad may have to rethink his poll strategy and position himself as the mass leader of the party who despite losing Lok Sabha poll is capable of resurrecting the party and retain maximum seats won in 2008 Assembly polls.